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Cabaret

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This locally produced stage version of the Kander & Ebb musical jettisons the “divine decadence” of the movie version for fleshy theatrical spectacle: not-so-divine decadence.

American Clifford Bradshaw (Brad Zacharias) moves to Berlin in the ’30s to teach English and write a novel. He is lassoed into the realm of Brit expat Sally Bowles (Elizabeth Whitbread), a free-loving chanteuse at the Kit Kat Club who would rather not pay attention to the growing Nazi menace, even as it ensnares Clifford’s lonely landlady (Meg Pfeifer-Brandt) as she embarks on a politically dangerous romance with a Jewish tenant, Herr Shulz (Shawn Kowalke).

In the role of the club’s Emcee, Scott Plett offers the strongest performance, embodying the cheery sexual depravity of the era, and offering hints of the more dire ideological depravity to come. The 105-minute production has some sound issues: You often can’t hear the singers over the “beautiful” dolled up-band. But that’s a minor quibble in what is otherwise a satisfying production: one of the few mainstream musicals that fits nicely into the fringe’s fringey raison d’être.

— Randall King

 

From the Fringe program:

Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, you're swept into the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub where everything is "Beautiful."

Follow the young star Sally Bowles and her relationship with American writer Cliff Bradshaw, as the Klub's mischievous Emcee serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of Germany.

Recommended For: Mature Audience

Length: 105 min

Tickets: $10

Under 14 not admitted.

Warnings: Subject Matter, suggestive themes

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Updated on Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM CDT:
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